Monday, 23 April 2012

What a week

Holy man.  What a week.  Diddely doo.  A week.  Wuh-gone.
So, to begin.  I believe we sent emails early last Monday.  Guess what we did afterwards?  We went to a toy store.  Yep.  How cool is that?  Yeah, not very.  But still, there was a huge toy store and we had no other choice than to chickety-check it out.  It was an adventure.  I didn´t get anything though.  Made me realize how much I´m giving up.  I saw a game I really really wanted that I really really missed because I came out on my mission......and I didn´t buy it.  Wham.  Psh, mom has told me a million times to stop spending money on games, and I totally never listened.  Now though?  Man, I am such a trooper.
Anyway.  Tuesday we went to the Temple!  It was a good 2 hour train ride, but luckily we arrived on time.  I got to see so many of my buddies I´ve met out on my mission too!  Elder Benson, Elder Stoddard, Jones, Klippel, etc..  It was fun.  The Temple itself is a small little guy, kind of placed in a suburban neighbourhood in Zoetermeer.  We walked around a corner then, wham, there it was.  It´s super beautiful too.  Flatter than the one in Vancouver, but holding a bit of the simple charm.  The whole session was in Dutch too, which was awesome because I understood a solid 90% percent of what was said!  Plus I had another interesting moment (I´ll explain further in a bit).
Then after the temple, we hopped in a bunch of cars and drove to Leiden!  Little ol´ Leiden...  It was neat to see the church building again--almost like being home, in a strange way...  There we had a quick message and lunch given by the Brubakers, then we headed off again, this time to Keukenhof.
Man, you should have seen the flowers.  Before we even got there, we passed by field after field, acre after acre of just flowers.  I had seen all those fields before, but they didn´t actually have anything in them!  Now, just blankets of yellow, red and orange.  It was dazzling.
Keukenhof itself was super beautiful.  Oh myan was it raining though.  Windy and chilly too.  Still, we enjoyed all the arrays of flowers.  I think they had every kind of tulip and daffodil imaginable.  They had all these ponds filled with swans and stuff too.  Everywhere you looked was another postcard.  I took a million pictures, don´t worry.
Oh yeah, and there was this one neat little water feature--a bridge of sorts spanning a narrow canal.  It swooped up into a sort of staircase, with two peaks, that then joined the other bank of the canal.  Feeling adventurous, Elder Stoddard and I jumped out onto the stairs and started doing goofy poses, like we were battling.  A group of people stopped to watch us, laughing and encouraging us to fall and the likes.  After we hopped down, a few of the people in the group tried climbing it too, but only chickened out.  All words and no show.  It was super funny though, we laughed and laughed!  I asked where the group was from and they said "all over"--still not sure what brought them together.  One of them caught wind that I was a Canadian and we talked for a bit--he was Canadian too!  Ah!
As we parted ways, he said "Have a good day, eh"  I said "Eh, you too!"
Elders Stoddard and Andrews thought that was super funny.  "Doh-ho, you guys said eh a zillion times"  We did?  I didn´t even realize it at first.  Oh, us Canadians. We rock.
Anydoodle, we were there until about 5, then we all slowly made our way back home.  By the time we got back, it was about 9:30.  It was a super fun experience.
Oh yes.  So we had a lesson with a guy named Dominique.  We found him searching for a different person with the same name who previously lived in the same house.  Weird, right?  Still, he´s a Christian guy out of India and he´s actually very interested in what we have to share.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and he started reading and actually researched a whole bunch online (running into some negative material along the way).  He is very keen on finding out if this is real or not.  Anyway, we had a return lesson, planning on teaching the Plan of Salvation, but ended up instead answering his questions concerning what we believe and the Book of Mormon.
Here's the fun part though.
When I was in the Temple, I picked up a Book of Mormon, on a bit of a whim.  Perhaps searching for revelation.  It was in Dutch too.  I opened it to a random page, 3 Nephi, when Jesus is addressing his apostles.  Jesus tells them how when he was in Jerusalem, he told his disciples he had other sheep who needed to join the flock, then he tells the Nephites that they are the other sheep, but he couldn´t tell the Jerusalem people that because of their unbelief.  Thus, the people in Jerusalem had no idea about the Nephites and vice versa.
Huh, neat scripture.  But...what does that mean for me?  Meh.  Close book, move on.
But then, in our lesson with Dominique, he asked us why if these people (the people on the American continent) are so important, with Prohepts who´ve seen God and talked with him and so forth--if they´re so important, why doesn´t the Bible never mention them.
Light bulb.
It was one of those 'halleluiah' moments.  Craziness.  I whipped out that Book of Mormon and WUH-BAMMED him.  Kra-dunked.  That´s why.  It was so cool!  I know I said it before, but I have a testimony of the Temple.  It really is a sacred place--a place for revelation and salvation.  I´m so glad that Mama Jean and Papa Joe are having their work done for them.  What a great opportunity!  Sealed forever...  How special!
We also visited Sister Luit again.  My goodness.  She is craz--a daughter of God.  We were going to do yard work, but she phoned us and told us we were going to leez uit boeken instead.  What?  Read books......? 
So we got there and craziness happened.  We sat down and she had all these--OH MY GOSH.....she got us to opened these jars of sick, nasty, mouldy appelmoes.  We popped those lids and smoke came out.  Moldsmoke.  Ewie.
But we sat down and she just had some questions to ask.  But she already knew the answers...  It was all redundant.
Then, we just started singing.  Like, 12 songs, all verses and everything. not a good singer.  It was wretched.
I honestly don´t know why we go there.  She´s crazy--literally--and everybody knows it.  She´s not benefiting from our visits, and neither are we.  Hopefully, we don´t have to return.
But anyway.
Isa didn´t make it to church again.  She said for zeker she was going to come, but she was too frightened.  She´s so scared her mom is going to take away her house and car if she comes--her mom is kinda crazy like that.  She said she´s going to fast this week though.  I really hope she will trust the Lord and take the step to come.  Things may be bad at first, but they will get better.  You just have to trust Him!
Meheret pretty much dropped us...  She´s too busy.  Anatole?  Not sure.  I met the guy once for about 5 minutes.
Otherwise, things are still normal.  Biking, eating, sleeping, PREACHING THE GOSPEL.  What could be better?
Thanks for the Foxtail by the way.  I can´t believe you found one!  We hucked it around the apartment, nearly smashing windows and such....then I looked at the letter which said "have fun, boys!"  Oh, we did.  And will further...
Buuut I must close my epistle now.
Ik ben Elder Burgess, een tegenwoordiger van God.  Hoor mijn stem!
Tot volgende keer,
Wait...  I´ve already said it!
Dang it.
Elder Burgess.

beautiful day in the temple
Elder Burgess with his box of Books of Mormon!  

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